Supporters worldwide mark fourth anniversary of Raif Badawi’s arrest

Ahead of the fourth anniversary of blogger Raif Badawi’s arrest English PEN and the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom invited organisations and individuals all over the world to join our photo action showing solidarity with Raif Badawi. In the weeks since we have received hundreds of photos from fellow human rights groups and supporters worldwide —a poignant visual representation of the ongoing support for him and his family.

We will be continuing to add photos to the album so please do keep sending us yours. NB If your photo has not appeared yet, apologies! Please do resend it to

To mark the anniversary, our Writers at Risk Programme Manager Cat Lucas was also invited to write an op-ed for Newsweek, in which she explained why the ongoing support for him and his family is so vital:

Every time we take action for someone like Raif Badawi, it isn’t simply for his benefit or that of his family and friends who suffer so much in his absence. It is for every other writer, activist and free thinker in Saudi Arabia and the world over. These actions—every tweet, every letter to the authorities, every message of support, every vigil attendance—however insignificant they may seem at the time, can not only bring comfort to the beneficiary and put pressure on their persecutors, but can also help to prevent the chilling effect that these harsh sentences seek to have on others, to embolden those who might otherwise be cowed. This is why we must continue to use every opportunity to raise Badawi’s case, to use our voices to ensure that his is not silenced.

Read the full article on the Newsweek website


English PEN and the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom are inviting individuals and organisations all over the world to show their ongoing support for Badawi and his family by sharing a photo of themselves holding a poster or message of solidarity.

We are aiming to get 1000 images to represent the 1000 lashes to which Raif has been sentenced. As well as helping to raise and maintain awareness of his case, these photos will serve as a powerful visual representation of the widespread support for Raif and his family .

Please share your photo, ideally with details of where it was taken (eg Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London, UK).

Download our #FreeRaif poster

Send us your photos

Via Twitter:

  • Please share your photo with the hashtag #FreeRaif and tag @englishpen

Via Facebook:

Via Email:

  • Please email your photos, with the subject line ‘Free Raif photo’ and details of where it was taken (eg Saudi Embassy, London, UK) to cat@englishpen.orgPlease also send copies to the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom –

** Thank you to our colleagues ADHRB, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Greystone Books, Index on Censorship, the International Publishers Association, Jimmy Wales Foundation, PEN International, the Peter Tatchell Foundation and Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) for supporting this initiative. **

About English PEN staff

This content is published by the English PEN staff.

View all posts by English PEN staff →

3 Comments on “Supporters worldwide mark fourth anniversary of Raif Badawi’s arrest”

    1. Thank you. We joined Amnesty to hold a joint vigil in London in January, marking the first anniversary of Raif Badawi’s flogging, and we certainly hope to continue to collaborate on efforts for Raif Badawi’s release and that of his lawyer, Waleed Abulkhair with Amnesty and the many other organisations and individuals active on their cases.

      More details of the January vigil here

      And we’ll be holding another vigil in London this coming Friday, 29 July.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *